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May 29th, 2008

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09:51 am - Help!!!!

I would love to start quilting. I've considered machine and handsewing, and although handsewing is considered *tedious* by some, it's what I'm drawn to.

However, I know nothing and I'm all alone! Can someone(s) take me under their wing(s) and help me? I need to know about thread, and batting, and fabric, and needles. I've tried doing research on my own, but the wide variety of everything is overwhelming. I think I want to do a rag quilt? Or at least that sounds simple. Like I said, I'm going blindly into this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Hand-piecing and hand-quilting are two different things.

I highly recommend this book for handquilting - it helped me learn, and I was self-taught. It has lots of pictures, great information, and the same authors have written several other awesome books in the same style (applique, piecing, borders, etc.).

[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
Hi there! Welcome to the club!

I hand piece and hand quilt and I'll be happy to help you out any way I can (So will every one else, I suspect)

My first bit of advice is: start a quilt. It can be a small one but start one of a size you will use. Don't start something small to be starting small... you'll never finish it. Pick a pattern that you really like but if you can find one with all straight lines, they are easier. Piecing and applique are not the same thing. I like piecing better but you may decide you prefer applique. If so, someone else would be better to advise you on that technique.

My second bit of advice is to use good materials. They can be scraps but make sure they are not half worn out. Also? Use a good quality thread. It's the cheapest part of your quilt but nothing is so hard to work with as cheap thread and you'll save yourself a bunch of frustration. (I like Coats and Clarks Cotton Hand Quilting thread)

A second note on materials. Try to keep the same weight through out the quilt. Personally, I prefer to use all cotton... or all flannel if I am making a flannel quilt. Many people do have good results mixing materials and using poly-cottons so that's more of a preference on my part. For your first quilt, it would be better, however not to use flannel (it stretches a LOT) or anything slippery (silk, nylon).

Prewash and iron your fabric. Make sure that none of them bleed onto any of the others. A little starch when you iron will make them stiffer and easier to handle.

When you go to cut out your quilt pieces, remember to leave a ¼ inch seam allowance. Cut as much as you can on the straight of the grain (meaning: cut pieces that are aligned with an edge or where the edge was either the sides or the cut pieces) It is easier to sew because it doesn't stretch as much as the bias (diagonal).

Until you get the hang of it, keep checking that you are sewing on the seam line... it may even be helpful to mark it on the wrong side of the fabric until you get a feel for a quarter inch seam. Just a little bit too large or too small will make your blocks harder to set together.

That's enough for now... Time to worry about marking and quilting and batting when you get your top together.

(My email is wren0880 at yahoo.com and I'll happily answer any question I can!)
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
I personally like Jinny Beyer's book "Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stiitches, Exquisite Quilts". I have ound it an excellent reference. Not to mention that her quilts are unbelievable and a real inspiration.

I agree with wren08 for your first quilt choose a pattern with straight lines. I chose an Irish Chain, all squares.

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